How hard water affects home plumbing costs
Magnesium and calcium are supplements that many of us take to stay healthy, but can there be too much of a good thing? These two minerals are components of hard water. While hard water won’t necessarily cause your family health problems, it can certainly be pesky to clean off of fixtures, or worse, it can clog your pipes.
Drain cleaners won't help when it comes to hard water clogs. Denver plumbing service provider Roto Rooter Plumbing and Drain suggests some piping infrastructures are more susceptible to hard water damage than others.
Paul Abrams, a Roto-Rooter company spokesman, said, “Copper, PEX and PVC pipes are more resistant to hard water corrosion, but we have seen mineral buildup reduce the inside diameter of a 1-inch iron pipe to the diameter of a pencil, or worse, a complete blockage may occur, which reduces water flow to a trickle.”
Once you’ve identified your hard water problem, should you stick it out or find a solution? Brad Casebier, an Austin plumber, explained, “There are a few things on the market today that claim that they can help with hard water, but there are only two sure ways to remove the minerals from your water, reverse osmosis (RO), and water softeners.”
Both options are beneficial, and your choice may depend on your family’s plumbing budget. See how water softeners work with this Hard Facts of Water Softeners infographic and choose only plumbers with the highest ratings from Angie's List consumer reviews.
Casebier said, “The RO water is wonderful, and is capable of stripping all impurities out of your water, and leaving you with pure H2O.”
However, the RO process is quite pricey. Some families choose to use it in limited areas of the home where they are using water for drinking and cooking.
Another more common way of treating hard water is by installing a water softener. The water softener washes a resin media in a salty brine, and the sodium particles stick to the media. As you use water in your house, the hard water is drawn through the media, and the hard particles exchange with the sodium particles.
Most plumbers offer opinions and estimates free of charge. Most homeowners should get an estimate from a specialist before choosing which solution is best for their situation. Angie’s List offers reviews of plumbers in your area, so check them out for more information.